In Which I Try the Latest Coca-Cola Creations Flavor
Posted on May 5, 2022 Posted by John Scalzi 21 Comments
It is the Byte Limited Edition Pixel Flavored Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, which you cannot get in the stores; you have to order it off the Coca-Cola Web site, where it comes in a specialty boxed package (which you can see in the background) featuring two cans, a sticker and a QR card for a video game, all for $15 or thereabouts. Apparently only 25,000 of the boxes will be made. Well, okay; I bought two boxes, just in case I fell so in love with whatever “pixel flavored” tastes like that I needed to have a couple extra to string it out.
And what does “pixel flavor” taste like? An energy drink, basically. It comes across like a beverage that brags about how its taurine and b-complex vitamins to give you a boost, but what it really has is an excessive amount of caffeine (note: Byte does not have an excessive amount of caffeine in it; from what I can find online it has about 34 milligrams per can, or basically what the regular Coke Zero has). And since energy drinks always reminded me a bit of cough syrup, you might think it tastes like that, too: carbonated Robitussin, if you like. Or don’t like; Krissy tried a swig and made a solid “why did I put this in my mouth” grimace.
For my part I’m not in love with it, either, although I think I have slightly more tolerance for it than Krissy does. I liked the previous “Starlight” limited edition Coke Zero, which you may recall I said tasted like a carbonated Oreo waved over a raspberry. I bought several while they were available. For this flavor I think I may have overbought at four cans; I think I’ll keep the second box sealed up and put it in the archives to sell on eBay in ten years or something.
(Weirdly, the actual Coke Zero energy drink, which is now off the market in North America, tasted rather better than this.)
So, yeah, the “Byte” pixel flavor is not a success. But I appreciate Coca-Cola for playing with the formula a bit. They’re 1 for 2 so far in these limited editions, which is good enough for me to take a chance on the next one.
I liked the “Starlight” flavor, which was referred to as “space juice” in my house. This one doesn’t sound that great, and I am not an “order soda over the Internet” guy anyway, so…yeah, no.
I thought the Starlight Coca Cola limited edition tasted like bad cotton candy when I tried it. Ughhh. Hadn’t heard about the Byte limited edition and think I will pass on it now that I have heard of it.
I’m so glad you volunteer for these experiments, Mr. Scalzi…
I also quite liked the Starlight one (my wife accidentally bought a pack of full sugar ones at first, but the Zero ones are right up my alley). Not gonna special order anything, but if any future varieties are available locally I’ll definitely give them a go.
Really? You can sell 10-year-old unopened soda cans on EBay? Limited edition Coke isn’t exactly like wine, though.
interesting. i didn’t hear about this and am not bothered now by missing it.
I still wonder if Coke wouldn’t be better doing the Lay’s route – limited release of 4 flavors and let people decide (or think they are deciding).
I like Vanilla Coke Zero with Coffee when it’s hot out.
There needs to be an Oreo raspberry pixel cola burrito. Stat.
I gave up all soda products years ago in favor of seltzers (plain and flavored carbonated water). Nothing but water, fizz and a bit of flavor. Every bit as satisfying as the “real thing” with out all the additives.
Note: my family was in the pepsi business for many years and our home at one point had soda taps in the kitchen. I grew to hate the smell of it!
@Peter: “You can sell 10-year-old unopened soda cans on EBay? Limited edition Coke isn’t exactly like wine, though.”
Coca-Cola memorabilia sells pretty well. I don’t doubt that there will be collectors in the future willing to pay decent money for a limited edition Coke product, not to drink but just to add to their collection. Not all of them will have been able to get in on it now.
There are few things finer on the Internet than an “I’m eating/drinking this so you don’t have to” post! 8-)
Thanks for throwing yourself on this grenade for us. I tried Coke Zero Sugar, and found it insipid and slightly nasty. Plain old Diet Coke for me, still.
Next, try some nonalcoholic beer!
I just got one, Athletic Brewing’s Chelada Nada (https://athleticbrewing.com/collections/beer/products/chelada-nada ), that tastes like a fizzy Bloody Mary but has less than .5% alcohol in it max, which doesn’t trigger my alcoholism thankfully.
I realize you can make a Virgin Mary almost as easily with Bloody Mary mix, lemon or lime, and some seltzer – so while I like this? I probably won’t be buying more….
Another nearly-no-alcohol beer drinker! Not sweet, fizzy, and a flavour with a hint of beer. What could be nicer?
We had cans of “personalized” Coke that we got at an event in 2014 – just last month one of them started leaking.
My go-to for special Coke flavours is; Vanilla Coca-Cola with Coffee – but up here in Canada, I have not seen a “Zero” version of that yet – plus it is only available “per can” for about $3.50
Any recommended burrito pairings?
On Ars Technica there’s an article about this with a great series of photos of the author trying it and having what looks like the same reaction Krissy had.
Except the actual Coke Zero energy drink was kind of a no-op as an energy drink, and I didn’t want it in my mouth after the first one either.
I too drink Athletic Brewing non alcoholic beers. Right now, I am most fond of their Upside Dawn all.
Have you tried using it to marinate a burrito?
Hey, they still have some Starlight Zero down here in Houston, if you get a hankering. Bought a box of the mini cans yesterday.